Non Fiction November – Week 3

Week 3: (Nov. 12 to 16) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (Julie @ JulzReads): Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).


Did you know Theodore Geisel wrote The Cat in the Hat based on a bet?

Did you know he signed some of his cartoons LeSeig (which is Geisel spelled backwards)?

Today I’m sharing a few books about the man who would become Dr. Seuss. Several years ago I wrote a paper about his life and was fascinated by what I discovered in my research.

Horton, Thidwick, Yertle, the Lorax, the Grinch, Sneetches, and the Cat in the Hat are just a handful of the bizarre and beloved characters Theodor S. Geisel (1904–1991), alias Dr. Seuss, created in his forty-seven children’s books, from 1937’s And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street to 1990’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! During his lifetime Dr. Seuss was honored with numerous degrees, three Academy Awards, and a Pulitzer, but the man himself remained a reclusive enigma. In this first and only biography of the good doctor, the authors, his close friends for almost thirty years, have drawn on their firsthand insights as well as his voluminous papers; the result is an illuminating, intimate portrait of a dreamer who saw the world “through the wrong end of a telescope,” and invited us to enjoy the view.

Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

These fabulous, whimsical paintings, created for his own pleasure and never shown to the public, show Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) in a whole new light. Depicting outlandish creatures in otherworldly settings, the paintings use a dazzling rainbow of hues not seen in the primary-color palette of his books for children, and exhibit a sophisticated and often quite unrestrained side of the artist. 65 color illustrations.

Dr. Seuss Goes To War

For decades, readers throughout the world have enjoyed the marvelous stories and illustrations of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. But few know the work Geisel did as a political cartoonist during World War II, for the New York daily newspaper PM. In these extraordinarily trenchant cartoons, Geisel presents “a provocative history of wartime politics” (Entertainment Weekly). Dr. Seuss Goes to Warfeatures handsome, large-format reproductions of more than two hundred of Geisel’s cartoons, alongside “insightful” (Booklist) commentary by the historian Richard H. Minear that places them in the context of the national climate they reflect. 

Theodor Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr. Seuss (Lives and Legacies Series)

A celebrated academic and authority on Geisel’s work, Pease presents a comprehensive look into the life of the artist and author best known as Dr. Seuss. Born into a prominent German family and raised in Springfield, Mass., young Geisel demonstrated his linguistic creativity early on, mixing German and English to create nonsense names for toys and imaginary animals; he also drew cartoons on the walls in every room of his childhood home, improbably encouraged by his mother. As a student at Dartmouth, Geisel had limited enthusiasm for his studies, but fell in love with the Jack-O-Lantern, the college newspaper he wrote for and edited. It was at the Jack-O-Lantern Geisel would develop the whimsical Dr. Seuss persona that would define his profession and, to a great extent, his life. On a tour of Geisel’s prolific career (he was, among other roles, an advertiser and political cartoonist), Pease analyzes the appeal and impact of Geisel’s game-changing children’s books (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, etc.) clearly and succinctly; the intricacies of Geisel’s tumultuous personal life provide a sobering counterpart.

Do you love November? Do you love nonfiction? Or maybe you just like alliteration! I’ve decided to join Julie (JulzReads), Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), Katie (Doing Dewey), Rennie (What’s Nonfiction) and Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) for the fifth annual Nonfiction November, a month-long celebration of everything nonfiction! To get the details and join in, click here!